People are brilliant. Innovation is very much alive and continues to astonish us on a daily basis. When we think we have seen it all... E! News is still popular (unbelievable). Kidding, but the saying, "What will they think of next?" is more relevant today than ever. With growing nano and biotechnologies... what will it look like in thirty years? Will we be prepared? Humans are adaptable creatures, and so far... all is well. However, not everything is all water parks on Mars and Back to the Future hover boards- we still live in a chaotic and unpredictable world... this is an undeniable fact.. Yes, we face insurmountable problems (over-population, educational conundrums, and the gum-smacking, pen-clicking, close talking co-worker, who breathes satan breath so potent... it melts your skin).
Despite our differences, we are all in agreement over certain universal needs: clean air, clean water, and an abundance of food (along with many others- but this list will suffice for now). Regarding the aforementioned thirty years scenario- it won't be pretty unless we protect what we, as a human species, are completely dependent upon... nature. Yeah, we know, we have been hearing this for years... what is your point? Point is, there are people who do more than worry and fret over the issues... they act.. Ecosia has acted.
A coal fired power plant works much like that of a nuclear station: 1). Heat is created and coal is burned, 2). Water turns to steam, 3). Steam turns the turbine, 4). Steam turns back into water, 5). Electricity and waste (coal ash) are produced. This waste is then sent to landfills, ponds, or mines. Roughly 140 million tons of coal ash is generated annually. To put this into perspective- this is enough to fill train cars stretching from the north to south pole. This waste is comprised of arsenic, lead, mercury, chromium, and other radioactive toxins.
One of the worst environmental disasters occurred on December 22, 2008. A Tennessee coal pond dike failed- releasing 5.4 million yards of coal ash into a community. The sludge cascaded into rivers and smothered over 300 acres of land (aerial video), and accumulated a tab around $1.2 billion. Considering the staggering economic and environmental costs, coal ash must be highly regulated, correct? Actually... no. Nothing exists. This has been discussed for years, but typical politics... disagreements and lawyers are delaying any decision. DRIVES.ME.CRAZY. Recently, a spill at Dan River in North Carolina has resulted in an outrage. Another episode? After people were reassured on the responsible disposal? I would be a madman. Encouraging news, on December 19, the EPA is set to announce first-ever potential regulation plans. Fingers crossed.
After an simple and harmless thirty minute conversation, I was educated on the diminishing governmental solar incentives, economical and environmental benefits, and azimuth. I am pleased with the findings. I see a few beers and a serious discussion in my future. Below are the results of installing solar PV panels: